PATIENTS ARE THE PURPOSE
Our Commitment to Patients
At SQZ Biotech, patients, their families and caregivers are our highest priority. Many at SQZ Biotech have a personal connection with someone who has been impacted by cancer or another serious illness and understand the impact of a diagnosis without clear solutions. The work we do together in developing new therapies is critical to helping transform patients’ lives.
We also understand the importance of collaborating with patients and their advocacy groups. Engaging with patients even in our early stages of development provides us with valuable insights that help us create impactful novel medicines. With this knowledge and deep understanding of cell therapy, our aim is to develop therapeutics that allow patients to live longer and healthier lives.
SQZ Patient Advocacy informational requests should be directed to the company at email@example.com or refer to the additional resources.
Commitment to Patient Engagement. SQZ Biotech recognizes the importance of supporting patient communities impacted by cancer and diseases that we serve through our drug development programs and clinical trials. Connecting with patients and key advocacy organizations, helps us understand the patient journey and enables SQZ Biotech physicians and scientists to gather insights that may be valuable in our development efforts. The goal of these collaborations is to allow the patient viewpoint to be strongly represented in our company and science. Current collaborations between SQZ Biotech and select patient foundations may be found below.
Patient Collaborations at SQZ Biotech. Our commitment to developing new treatments is grounded in understanding the needs of patient communities, which may be focused beyond research and medicine. Engaging with established patient organizations helps SQZ Biotech directly connect with the diverse voices represented in the patient communities.
Disease Indications Under Investigation. SQZ Biotech physicians and scientists are committed to creating life-changing medicines to treat select cancers. Our current focus is on engineering the immune system for oncology that helps patients’ immune system fight cancer. Our first therapy being investigated in a Phase I clinical trial is for treatment of HPV+ cancers. For more information on HPV+ cancers, please read the following, sourced from National Cancer Institute.
- Usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck (for example, inside the mouth, the nose, and the throat).
- Often referred to as squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck, it may begin in the salivary glands, but salivary gland cancers are relatively uncommon.
- Salivary glands contain many different types of cells that can become cancerous, so there are many different types of salivary gland cancer.
- Cancers of the head and neck are further categorized by the area of the head or neck in which they begin.
- Patients who smoke are more susceptible to contracting head and neck cancers.
- Age is a risk factor.
- Patients may become symptomatic when they notice a sore or lump that doesn’t heal in the mouth, sinuses, nose, or throat as well as having trouble swallowing, and changes in their voice.
Additional input was provided by the patient advocacy organizations Head and Neck Cancer Alliance and Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer (SPOHNC).
- A disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the anus.
- Most anal cancers are related to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and signs of anal cancer include bleeding from the anus or rectum, or a lump near the anus.
- Tests that examine the rectum and anus are used to diagnose anal cancer.
- Certain factors affect the prognosis and treatment options, including the size of the tumor and whether it has metastasized to the lymph nodes.
- A test called a digital anorectal exam (DARE) is used to detect anal cancer. After DARE, health care providers may perform high-resolution anoscopy (HRA) if abnormalities are felt. Colonoscopies are not able to detect anal cancer.
- Patients who have or experience the following risk factors are more susceptible to contracting anal cancer:
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
- Weakened immune system
- Personal history of vulvar, vaginal or cervical cancers
- Smoking cigarettes
Additional input was provided by the patient advocacy organization Anal Cancer Foundation.
- The fourth most common cancer in women worldwide.
- The primary risk factor for cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and most cases of the disease are preventable by routine screening and by treatment of precancerous lesions.
- Patients who frequently get screened via Pap tests, tests to detect HPV, and HPV vaccination have a better chance of an early diagnosis
- Patients with cervical cancer may undergo surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or target therapy.
Additional input was provided by the patient advocacy organization CERVIVOR.
- A type of cancer that occurs on the outer surface area of female genitals.
- Vulvar cancer is most commonly diagnosed in older women.
- Risks include exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV) and smoking.
- Vulvar cancer commonly forms as a lump or sore on the vulva that often causes itching.
- Patients who receive an early diagnosis reduce the likelihood that extensive treatment will be needed.
- Patients receiving treatment usually elect surgery to remove the cancer and a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue.
- A disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the penis.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection may increase the risk of penile cancer.
- Penile cancer may begin as a blister on the foreskin, head, or shaft of the penis. It may become a wart-like growth that discharges blood or foul-smelling liquid.
- Patients who use condoms along with the HPV vaccine may help prevent infection with HPV.
- Patient treatment is most commonly surgery for all stages of penile cancer. Other options include radiation and chemotherapy.
Anal Cancer Webinar, December 2020: Watch a lively discussion with SQZ Biotech’s Dr. Oliver Rosen and Dr. Howard Bernstein, patient advocate Diane Jones, Dr. Emma Holiday from MD Anderson, and Dr. Cathy Eng from Vanderbilt Medical Center on anal cancer research, treatments, and patient experience.
Patient Foundation Collaboration
SQZ Patient Advocacy is dedicated to supporting the patient journey currently in select and rare cancers.
If you are a patient living with anal cancer, cervical cancer, or head and neck cancer; or a caregiver for a patient with any of these medical conditions, there are organizations that may help provide critical information about treatment, research, and clinical trials. Below is a representation of patient organizations with whom SQZ Biotech has an established relationship. Each of these organizations offer resources and information for patients, families, and caregivers living with those specific cancers.
Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer (SPOHNC)
SPOHNC is dedicated to raising awareness and meeting the needs of oral and head and neck cancer patients through its resources and publications.
Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (HNCA)
HNCA’s mission is to advance prevention, detection, treatment and rehabilitation of oral, head and neck cancer through public awareness, research, advocacy and survivorship.
Cervivor is a global community of advocates who inspire and empower those affected by cervical cancer by educating and motivating them to use their voices for creating awareness to end stigma, influence decision and change, and end cervical cancer.
Anal Cancer Foundation
The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation is dedicated to empowering anal cancer patients and accelerating prevention and treatment methods that eliminate anal cancer and the virus that causes the majority of cases, HPV.
SQZ Patient Advocacy informational requests should be directed to the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand that cancer patients continually await more effective medicines. Knowing this drives us to work harder, to deliver transformative treatments more swiftly. We strive to develop safe and effective medicines and follow the rigorous guidelines established by regulatory agencies.
We are currently sponsoring a multi-center Phase 1 clinical trial of SQZ-APC-HPV. SQZ-APC-HPV is an autologous cell therapy candidate comprised of SQZ-engineered antigen presenting cells (APCs) designed to induce CD8 T cell responses against cancer cells infected by HPV16. The primary objectives of the Phase 1 multi-center trial (SQZ-PBMC-HPV-101; NCT04084951) are to assess safety, tolerability of different doses and booster schedules, and to determine the recommended dose of SQZ-APC-HPV in HPV+ tumors for subsequent treatment protocols, as both monotherapy (a treatment on its own) and in combination with additional immune-oncology agents.